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What is the stuff at the bottom of the cork?

What is the stuff at the bottom of the cork? Dark red, almost inky, deposits, sometimes crystalline in texture? You find it at the end of the cork which has been in touch with the wine during aging and it is actually a quality sign which shows that the wine has not been overfiltered which can strip away some of the flavors. How did it end up there and what is it? Read on to find out.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Viognier - the queen of golden aromas

Peach, pineapple, pear, flowery yet dry, golden yellow and with a big smooth texture that fills your mouth – that is my way of describing Viognier. The grape is thought to have originated in the northern Rhone valley and it is found in many Rhone wines, both red and white but its big fame and the most exquisite wines made from Viognier are from the appellation Condrieu. It can only contain 100% Viognier and it is a small area of steep hillside vineyards to the east of the river Rhone. That is my style icon for our Viognier.

Written by Katarina

Time for Thyme

Low creeping thyme expands like soft pillows between the flagstones in my patio.Thyme is one of the most widely used herbs. Already the Romans used this very aromatic herb as medicine and for cooking. Plant this hardy plant in your garden or in a pot and experience it yourself, with a glass of good red wine in hand.

Written by Katarina
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Why we prune vines in different shapes - vineyard talk

Left to their own devices grape vines can grow to be 100 yards long in the wild. Like all vines they use ground formation, trees and other plants to climb up and find sun or along the ground to spread out. The trunk of a cultivated vine is the result of extensive pruning. Some of the trellis systems even look like ballerinas!

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Water, flooding and vines

What about all this rain the past months and your vines? That is a question I have been getting a lot lately. Since October we have had 68 inches of rain, which is over 50% more than our normal rainfall. As a matter of fact northern California is now officially drought free. But there are also consequences such as erosion and damaged vines.

Written by Katarina at West Wines